wedding week ~ one year ago today ~ part 1

one year ago this week…

in the final weeks before our wedding, when the spirit of flat bride had me flitting around amazon clicking on 10 dollar items such as 25 yards of lace and a bottle of rose water, wedding boss was doing her level best to keep me organized and on task. or should i say, get me organized. we spent several hours together during which i typed things into schedules and shopping lists while she asked pertinent questions and reminded me of key details i mustn’t forget.

“i like it when boxes have words in them.” ~wedding boss

meanwhile back at the ranch, my fiance and i looked around and despaired that our house cleaning routine had fallen by the wayside during the busy spring, and dug in to start clearing the clutter. we called in back up from friends for the really dirty jobs like polishing the silver and scraping the stove top with a razor blade! they know who they are, and may they be blessed for selflessly cleaning up our dirt. many of our favorite wedding presents were gifts of service!

the blue shop towels that migrate out of rich’s work jeans in the dryer and then onto the top of the washing machine found their uses, while the green earplugs sourced from the same pockets and scattered across the same surface grouped themselves into a bowl, and the house became more manageable as out-of-town guests began to arrive.


the pancakes were the first to arrive, and set up camp in the front yard. it was at this point that i stopped having to do any dishes, because the dynamic duo was on the scene. just before they left a week later and i had to start emptying my own compost bin again, i tried to explain to them my gratitude for how far above and beyond their help went, but their humility had them praising others’ contributions to the team effort. but i’m getting ahead of myself!


the pancakes and quinn fell right into their familiar play routine, upgraded to an “even bigger kids” version, with the new added fun of a 15-foot trampoline in the backyard! quinn was participating in theatre camp during this time frame, but the next morning while getting ready was when we discovered that the reason for his itchy scalp upon his return from his dad’s house was not only the lack of bathing and hairbrushing for the prior two weeks, but actually head lice… so that was a busy morning, 5 days before our wedding with a trip to the airport ahead of me to retrieve the best woman that afternoon! my fiance/soon-to-be-husband continued being his wonderful jedi self and worked all the piles of laundry through the droids while i was gone, since i spent the entire morning at the end of a nit comb and only had time to make the piles, not wash and dry them.


by the way, i felt that my handling of head lice, mere days before my wedding, was very positive, compared to how i fell apart over the water being shut off two weeks earlier (which turned out to be due to a rat chewing through wiring in the well pump house), cried in the court administrator office over my name change debacle (that will be its own post), or despaired over the glass refrigerator shelf shattering while i was trying to clean it…


all of these turned into opportunities to have still more gratitude for the man i was about to marry, who handled it all with gentleness and humor, and efficient handyman fixes. i had a new plywood fridge shelf installed almost before i had all the glass cleaned up, and in every case, he magically turned my tears into laughter. by the time the head lice came along, i didn’t even cry. progress!

he waved goodbye from over the top of a giant pile of bedding and stuffed animals, and reluctantly let me drive myself to the airport to get my best woman. he didn’t reveal to me until later that he had been a little worried and thought maybe he should have been driving me. he also knew i’d be fine, but those little confessions of concern certainly make the heart feel warm and fuzzy, coming from a man who loves you. he also handled picking up quinn from camp for me that afternoon, and got him to his karate class.

it was somewhere around this time of the evening that rich received a phone call from the bartender at the local dive bar, timbers, telling rich his parents were there and would he please call back! we had a laugh over the set of circumstances leading to their 85 and 87 year old alcohol-free selves venturing into timbers, and soon they were pulling into our driveway, having driven all the way from oklahoma in a rental car.

there were so many little touching moments leading up to our wedding, of generosity from friends. we had a surprise email back from my farm on this day, concerning the veggies we had ordered for the wedding, and the matriarch of the farm didn’t charge us a penny! i had a misty-eyed moment upon reading that, having fully planned on paying for the veggies with my usual 20% discount. it recalled the previous saturday market, when i picked up 4 pounds of our favorite coffee, which i had ordered ground instead of whole beans, and my coffee guy gave it to me for half price.

one of the most frequent comments we received was usually a follow-up on the question of “how many wedding guests will you have?” no matter how many times i answered, “80,” we got responses all across the board from “that’s nice and small and quiet” to “wow a really super big wedding then!” these remarks hit the same nerve endings as having passersby on the street comment on the gender of my baby or ask his name and comment on their opinion of it, like it was somehow their territory to offer commentary on a very personal life choice of mine. probably the second most frequent comment we received from passerby on the street who knew we were entertaining many out of town family members at our house, ran along the lines of, “wow, that’s crazy,” or “you’re brave,” or “oh i would never do that!” we were overjoyed to be able to have all our family and friends in one place for a short time, though, and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

but maybe the most important thing for our self care during this hosting of many guests for two people who are usually alone together, was that we carved out frequent brief alone-together moments amidst the chaos. we normally go on a daily date when we walk to the mailbox, but during this time these walks might have been slightly more crucial to sanity than on a regular day, and maybe a teensy bit more meandering. also, whereas we normally give each other lots of solo bathroom space, we spent more bathroom time as a couple, in what we jokingly referred to as committee meetings!

once rich and i got back from settling his parents in at wedding boss’s mom’s house (my oregon family really stepped up in the department of hosting exchange family members in their homes! again with the gifts of service!), i tucked quinn in for the night. then my wedding boss, my best woman, my fiance and i worked on perfecting our wedding cocktails, working especially hard on the boysenberry bourbon smash! soon it was time to tuck in my best woman on her air mattress on the living room floor. all the tuck-ins thus completed, we tucked ourselves in as well.

~wednesday, july 19, 2017~

sometime after we went to sleep, 6 rews were landing on a plane in oregon and tucking each other in at a hotel.

when i woke up next to my fiance, we spent a good several minutes doing some extra good hugging before we got out of bed.

best woman woke up and told me a story about helping a little pancake go back to sleep on the couch in the middle of the night.

i made breakfast – huevos rancheros, and rich’s mom and dad came over to join the rest of us. i took quinn to theatre camp, and mid-day we were joined by 6 more rews, including grammy and grampy, mario and luigi, and their parents, my brother t and sister-in-law n. sometime during this day was when i realized i wouldn’t be leaving the premises to go grocery shopping, and took a break from working on our vows on my laptop to quickly type a shopping list and delegate said task to my best woman and stove-scraping good friend and together they made groceries happen.



settling mom and dad into their apartment was made all the more wonderful by wedding boss’s family and all the personal touches they went out of their way to make ready for the rews.


quinn came home from theatre camp and was enfolded into grammy’s arms and absorbed into the merrymaking.

meanwhile, pa rew played guitar, and rich’s mom and dad shared their rocks with everyone, including some beautiful pendants they gifted to the mother of the bride, best woman, and other key members of the wedding team. and also to the bride! i have been wearing my lime chrysoprase pendant and turquoise “dragon egg” quite frequently ever since then.

the groom was deployed to the liquor store with a list compiled by best woman and wedding boss the night before, and i pulled ziplock bags full of muffins out of the freezer for breakfast the next day.





my best woman made dinner that night, at my request, because she makes the best sauce, and spaghetti is a great way to feed a crowd. another friend brought over the sandwich board sign i had delegated to her to paint. the front yard transformed into even more of a gypsy caravan. after dinner the kids jumped on the trampoline and blew bubbles for each other to chase. all 5 kids – z pancake, b pancake, mario, luigi, and quinn – got along great! ages 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10!








that evening after the kids were in beds and sleeping bags, and the grandparents had retired to their getaway locations, we sat around the table chatting about songs with the remaining grown ups.

~thursday, july 20, 2017~

very early the next morning, before anyone else woke up, i saw a naked man streak across the backyard to chase off a deer who was trying to eat the rosebushes and raspberries. luckily everyone else was camped out in the front on the opposite side of the house, so i got this special view all to myself! (not pictured!!!)

this day involved a lot of nuts and bolts, such as the arrival of the porta potty and ordering of pizza and wings we would be having for the rehearsal dinner the following night.


my mom and i got to go on a mission to find her a new wristwatch, and ended up discovering that the jeweler in our small town repairs old clocks. i have plans to take my nana’s cuckoo clock in and have him take a look at it to see if he can make it work. when we stopped back at her apartment at wedding boss’s house, she gave me a pre-wedding gift. it was providence that she had forgotten to bring it to our house that morning, and instead gave it to me privately, because that saved me from crying in front of a crowd. even when i showed the beautiful quilt squares (and associated thoughtfully written “placards” on each one, as my dad called them) to my fiance, wedding boss, and best woman, they all complained of cat hair suddenly getting in their eyes.



because of wedding boss’s foresight and planning assistance, mom and best woman and i also had a brief getaway scheduled at 2 that afternoon in the yard of wedding boss, in order to do our nails. i held a snuggly koala on my lap while i dried, and then i had to go and retrieve my lad from theatre camp. after my return, best woman earned another rock pendant by helping with rich’s mom’s nails as well. father of wedding boss delivered our farm veggies, and provided comic relief during the nail session.

my stove-scraping, grocery-schlepping friend came yet again to my aid, this time with a crockpot full of her amazing potato soup to help me feed a crowd! our parents all kept commenting on what a great crew of friends i was lucky to have, and i couldn’t have agreed more. friends and family both, as the family members made each task happen more easily, and often without the assistance i thought i would be providing. whether making vinaigrettes for the wedding salads in mason jars, or gallons of iced yerba mate, check marks kept appearing beside the words in each box. the groom’s wedding shirt arrived on this day… no sweat, just in the nick of time! check.



the last two rews joined us later that afternoon, my older brother b and sister in law c. the beautiful day beckoned us to the bayou, and soon it was time to head to wedding boss’s house for a family of origin meets oregon family picnic.
















wedding boss and her team had the picnic fixings well in hand, while husband of wedding boss tended the grill and children frolicked in the great big yard. we enjoyed the beautiful summer evening, the good food, and great company. a dessert of popsicles was administered to the children, and then a cascade of plasma cars went careening down the driveway. the siblings of my family of origin were soundly beaten by my adopted oregon sister wedding boss, and one of my favorite memories of the whole week was watching the three of them racing downhill on contraptions a bit too small for adults to be riding on.



but really, there were memories competing for best memory happening one right after another. soon after plasma car races, my mom presented handmade quilts to my best woman and my wedding boss, and more cat hair (or was it pollen?) was detected in the air. we lightened up the mood listing the ways the quilts would be utilized, perhaps for a “cuddle and a cold one” later on, during which the cuddler would be sure to think of my mom and fun wedding memories.



in the days leading up to our wedding, my fiance and i looked at each other so many times realizing how blessed we are with such a wonderful assortment of friends and family, all of whom contributed in their own unique ways to a wonderful week of memories to share.


2 comments to wedding week ~ one year ago today ~ part 1

  • camp boss

    What a wonderful recap of amazing wedding week memories!! It is so fun taking a stroll down memory lane, especially since you do all the leg work for documenting it all!! 🙂 looking forward to many more memories shared together!! Love ya!!

  • oh my goodness, i think i have cat hair in my eyes. you are a very lucky couple! sounds like an amazing time! you will be so glad that you have this to look back on in ten, twenty, etc years!!

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